3:15pm. She was late. Where was she? She is supposed to be here at 3:00. Maybe she's not coming today. I was just about to give up and leave when I heard the door of the coffee shop open. Quickly I spun round in my seat, just in time to see her entering. I watched as she walked over in my direction. I lowered my head, pretending to read my magazine, and subtly watched from behind my paper as she walked passed me and to her usual seat in the corner of the room. She places her bag on her left, just like she always does, and grabs the menu and starts to skim through it, even though we both know she's going to order a coffee and apple pie, like she always does. I'm not a stalker, I swear I'm not, there's just something about her. I can't stop thinking about her, dreaming about her, staring at her, coming here at 3 o'clock everyday just so I can see her. She doesn't even know I exist, but I swear she sits in that spot just to tease me. Out of all the available seats in the café, she chooses that seat, every time, the seat that is the perfect distance from my table that I can subtly watch her without being noticed. The seat that is right next to the window and has the sun cascading over her, creating a glow around her that makes her look like an angel. I swear I'm not stalking her, really.
"Refill, Miss?" a sudden voice brings me out of my daydream. Looking up, I notice a young waiter, smiling down at me, holding a pot of coffee.
"Oh, uh, yes. Thank you." I reply, pushing my cup towards him.
"Why don't you just go say hi?" he asks, while refilling my cup.
"What?" I ask, looking up at him confused. He rolls his eyes slightly.
"Why don't you just go and say hi to her." He repeats gesturing over to 'Her'.
"I.. I don't know what you mean." I stutter. Oh God, did he catch me staring.
"Sure you don't." He laughs slightly, "But if it were me, and I was looking at someone the way you look at her, I would go for it. What's the harm? I mean, if she says no, it just means that you come here at 2 o'clock instead of 3." I stare at him, completely shocked that this young boy, who can't have been more than eighteen, was trying to give me relationship advice. He shuffles around nervously for a second, as I continue to stare at him, until finally he excuses himself with a "Just think about it" before he walks to another table.
"Stupid kid." I think to myself, what does he know? Maybe he's right though. I mean, I've been coming here at 3 o'clock every Monday-Friday for weeks now, just watching her. I've never felt this way before. Maybe the kid's right. Maybe I should do something about it. Like he said, the worst that could happen is she says no.
I sit there for another ten minutes, trying to gather up the nerve to go over and talk to her.
"Ok, I can do this. I can do this. Just say hi." I mumble to myself over and over. Making a decision, I grab my bag, stand up and make my way over to her table. Just as I am about to approach her I panic and make a quick turn to my left, trying to escape, however crash into the same waiter from before who is carrying a tray full of drinks, successfully covering myself in ice tea and milkshakes.
"Oh my God. Miss, I am so sorry!" the waiter exclaims, as I stand there frozen to my spot, staring down at my now stained shirt. "I'll go get a cloth!" He disappears out of sight.
"Just great…" I mutter to myself, flicking bits of cream off the front of my shirt.
"Here." I feel someone's hand on my arm, and a handful of napkins come into view. I go to turn around, to thank them, when I notice the tanned colour of their skin, the perfectly manicured fingers… oh please don't be her… anyone but her right now. I stand still, hoping that she would just leave as I grab the napkins from her, but I can still feel her presence behind me. I take a deep breath, trying to calm myself, and then slowly turn around. Oh God she was even more beautiful up close. Her face was perfect; perfect brown eyes, perfect hair, perfect lips, even her scar was perfect.
"Th- Thank you." I manage to stutter. Great, way to act cool. She simply smiles at me, taking in my appearance, slightly scrunching her nose at my now ruined shirt. Damn, nose scrunch! Really? Can she get even more perfect, that was adorable! I focus on breathing normally, trying not to let my nervousness get the best of me.
"Did you burn yourself?" she asks, concerned, gesturing towards my shirt.
"No, it was all cold liquid, luckily." Smooth, just keep talking normally, but did I seriously just say liquid? She just smiles back at me, nodding. I don't really know what to say, so I simply thank her again for the napkins and go to leave.
"Wait Miss!" I was just about to leave when the waiter comes back over to us, handing me a towel, and carrying two drinks. "Once again I am so sorry about this. I bought you a complimentary drink." He smiles at me, placing two drinks onto 'her' table. "You too Miss, sorry for all the disruption." He winks at me, and then leaves. Did he plan this? Surely not, he had no idea I would back out, but he did place two drinks on her table. Maybe he thought I needed a little push. Depending on how this goes, I will have to thank him later.
She sits back down at her seat, taking the drink in her hand and taking a small sip.
"Mmm, that's good." She responds, placing the drink back down. Looking up at me expectantly, "Are you going to sit or would you prefer to go back to your own table?" I immediately sit opposite her, taking my own drink. She was right, that was good. Or maybe it was just her company. We sit there for a while in silence, not really knowing what to say. Finally she speaks,
"How's your shirt? Dry yet?" she asks, as I grab the front of my shirt, feeling its dampness.
"Almost." I respond. We both sit in silence again, looking around the room, and drinking our drinks. I decide to break the silence. "I'm Emma, by the way."
"Regina." She responds, smiling at me. "So, Emma, what do you do for a living?" Oh wow, she said my name. Say it again, damn that sounded so good hearing her say it. Wait, she asked me something… right, job.
"Uh, I'm kind of between jobs at the moment actually…" I admit shyly, "I just moved here, and haven't been able to find the right job yet."
"I see, where did you move from?" She questions, leaning forward in her chair.
"Tallahassee." I respond simply, not really wanting to explain further.
"Do you have family here? Or just decided it would be a nice place to live?" She questions again.
"Uh." I begin to reply when I hear a buzzing sound. Regina quickly turns to her bag, taking out her phone and reading a message. Her brow furrows as she reads.
"Sorry Emma, but I have to go. Duty calls." She starts to get out of her seat, collecting up her belongings.
"Right." I say, mostly to myself, as she makes her way out of the café. I watch as she walks away, cursing myself for being such pathetic company. Just as she reaches the door she turns slightly, scanning the room before meeting my eyes. She smiles slightly, lifting her hand and giving me a small wave, before exiting the restaurant. I sink back down into my chair, not being able to contain the smile spreading across my face. She shouldn't make me this happy. The conversation was a bore, I got drinks spilled all down me, but still I feel like this has been the best day I have had in a really long time. God… What am I going to do…
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